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What’s Under the Hood at Your Web Host?

Written by Richard Ward

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As part of our effort to continually improve our services, OurChurch.Com has just completed a company-wide upgrade to its infrastructure. As of November 15, 2010, OurChurch.Com is being hosted on all Xeon-grade performance server hardware with ECC registered RAM  in all servers for reliability and performance.

Xeon Processors

The Xeon brand of computer microprocessors are manufactured by Intel to support the high demands and fast outputs necessary for web server environments like OurChurch.Com has. The Xeon processor line brings significant advantages over its desktop counterparts. The multiprocessor and multi core features of the Xeon line make pages load faster, uploads and downloads to our servers faster, and database operations faster.

OurChurch.Com has partnered with WiredTree to deliver a custom designed solution to meet OurChurch.Com’s specific needs and requirements. The all Xeon hardware provided by WiredTree will increase server durability and result in fewer service unavailability periods.

Gigabit Connection

The internal connectivity between all of our servers has been upgraded from a 100Mbit connection to a 1000Mbit connection. With the addition of 1000Mbit connectivity, or Gigabit Ethernet, OurChurch.Com is able to enhance and optimize internal server-to-server transfers resulting in faster loading sites for our customers.

RAID Backup

For reliability and performance, OurChurch.Com utilizes RAID in all of its servers.  In server environments, hard drives are a single point of failure since they are constantly in operation unlike your desktop computer where your hard drive can idle when not in use.  A RAID system includes a second hard drive in each server and a special hard drive controller that writes to both hard drives simultaneously.   By utilizing RAID in our environment, we have removed the single point of failure; if a single hard drive malfunctions or stops performing, a backup hard drive immediately takes over without interruption.

Backup Server

A dedicated backup server has been added that performs hourly snapshots of all client data on all OurChurch.Com servers. OurChurch.Com’s friendly support team can restore backups quickly and easily. In addition, Bronze, Silver and Gold customers will notice an R1Soft Icon in their cPanel account which provides you direct access to your hourly backups with the capability to restore the data yourself should you choose. The backup server also has a RAID system to increase reliability and performance.

Our servers are utilized by thousands of people and serve tens of thousands of websites every single day. It’s very important that our infrastructure be fast, reliable and available. For that reason, we monitor our servers constantly and make upgrades and adjustments where necessary to ensure we can provide a constant level of service to our clients.

If you’re not hosted by OurChurch.Com now, ask your host how often they review their hardware and make upgrades. Also, ask if your data is protected in a RAID environment, with hourly backups to a RAID 10 environment. The answer might surprise you.

We’re excited to announce this major infrastructure upgrade. The upgrade is complete and you should pages loading faster than ever on our website and the sites we host. If you have any general questions about the upgrade, post a comment and ask away. For any questions specific to a site hosted with us, please contact our support team.

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About the author

Richard Ward

Richard Ward is a Sr. Web Applications Developer for OurChurch.Com. Richard's professional background is in LAMP style web development. Richard is also a technology enthusiast with a strong interest in emerging technologies. You can reach him at or on Twitter at @OCCRichard.


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